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Coronavirus: Friday prayers suspended in over a dozen Muslim majority countries

Pakistan, another Muslim majority country, however has so far not announced any restrictions on prayers in mosques

Friday March 20, 2020 11:38 AM, ummid.com News Network

Friday Prayers Suspended over Coronavirus

[Kaaba after Coronavirus: Part of the Mataf area is restricted for tawaf and all prayers, including Friday Special Salah. Saudi Arbia has also banned the entry of outsiders, including umrah pilgrims, in the Kingdom.]

New Delhi: Friday Special Prayers offered in congregation have been either completely suspended or curtailed in more than a dozen Muslim majority countries to contain the spread of Coronavirus, latest reports coming from different sources said.

The countries that have officially suspended the Friday prayers in mosques following the Coronavirus outbreak include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Turkey, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and Jordan.

A statement released by Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said it is allowed religiously to suspend all group prayers in mosques, including the weekly Friday prayers.

“Mosque doors will be closed temporarily but they will be allowed to recite the call to prayer,” the statement said, adding that there will be regular prayers in Makkah Grand Mosque and Masjid e Nabawi in Madina.

Pray at home

It also said an amendment has been made to the call in which the usual phrase “Hayya alas salah - come to prayer” in the Arabic call has been replaced with “as salatu fi rihalakum" or "as salatu fi buyutikum" - pray at home."

"Islam doesn't permit practices that would put human life in danger," Ali Erbaş, head of religious affairs in Turkey, said earlier this week, citing the example of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

"Until the danger for the contagion disappears, prayers in congregations will be suspended. Instead of Friday prayer, Muslims can continue the noon prayer at their own homes", he said.

No restrictions in Pakistan

Pakistan, another Muslim majority country, however has so far not announced any restrictions on Friday Special prayers or five-times daily prayers in congregation. Local media reports said the mosques in Pakistan are witnessing regular rush of worshippers and this Friday too is expected to be no different.

In Indonesia, on the other hand, the authorities have not suspended the Friday prayers all together. But, have asked the people to offer congregation prayers in small groups, especially at the massive Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta - the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim-majority country in the world.

India advises caution

Muslims in Singapore, Italy, Brunei, Australia and other western countries too are advising people to offer prayers at home.

However, clerics in India where Muslim population is next only to Indonesia, have asked mosque trustees and imams to shorten the Friday sermon and prayers in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak.

More than 10,000 people have been killed because of the Coronavirus, and the number is rising with every minute. The virus first detected in China's Wuhan region killing more than 3000 people in less than a month.

Italy is now the worst hit country as death toll here surpassed that of China on Friday.

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